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Songbirds Museum Amps Up Excitement for Guitar Lovers

Songbirds Guitar Museum is located in the Chattanooga Choo Choo complex, with more than 550 acoustic and electric guitars on display. If you’re a Beatles fan, you’ll see examples of the band's favorite Rickenbacker and Gretsch models. Rows of glass cases also show off rare Fender prototype Telecasters, and Martin acoustics from the 1930s and 40s.

Matt Hallum works for Gibson, the company that makes Les Pauls.Songbirds Museum has plenty of Les Pauls, some dating back to the 1950s.

"In my opinion," Hallum said, "it's probably the most impressive single collection of guitars for anybody to view in one place that I've ever encountered my life. I've never seen that many pristine, highly-collectible highly-valued guitars in one place at one time, and I've seen a lot of very nice collections."

Hallum traveled from Nashville for the museum's grand opening, and it inspired him.

"The first thing I did when I got back to my hotel room," Hallum said, "is break out a guitar and play, because after you look at 550 guitars in a row of that caliber, you want to pick."

Museum officials say the 550 guitars on display during the opening weekend are only a fraction of the full collection, and live performances are planned inside the space. The glass cases can be moved around to accommodate a crowd.